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  • Kailash M

Simon & Garfunkel: The Folk Rock Artists

The musical journey of Simon & Garfunkel began in their early years in Queens, New York, where they first crossed paths in elementary school in 1953. A shared love for music led Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel to harmonize and experiment with songwriting even in their formative years. They were originally known as "Tom & Jerry," and like many others, were influenced by artists such as the Everly Brothers. They had a small hit in 1957 with "Hey, Schoolgirl" but didn't achieve widespread success initially.

In 1963, recognizing the growing public interest in folk music, they reunited as Simon & Garfunkel and signed with Columbia Records. In 1964, their debut album "Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M." didn't make a big impact until the acoustic version of "The Sound of Silence". In late 1965, it climbed the charts, eventually securing the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100 in January 1966, outpacing the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out." This marked the beginning of their popularity. Subsequent albums like "Sounds of Silence," "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme," and "Bookends" showcased their evolving musical talent.

"Bookends," released in 1968, explored themes of life, loss, and change. Tracks like "Mrs. Robinson" and "America" reflected the cultural landscape of the time. Simon & Garfunkel's relationship was not without its challenges, leading to artistic disagreements and their eventual breakup in 1970. Their final studio album, "Bridge over Troubled Water," released in January 1970, achieved unparalleled success, becoming one of the world's best-selling albums. However, internal issues led to their breakup in the same year. Both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel pursued successful solo careers.

Following their separation, Paul Simon embarked on a solo career, achieving significant success with hits like "Graceland" (1986). Art Garfunkel, too, found success with chart-toppers like "I Only Have Eyes for You" (1975). Despite the occasional artistic collaborations, they officially reunited several times, including a remarkable concert in Central Park in 1981, drawing an enormous audience.

Simon & Garfunkel's legacy is solidified with seven Grammy Awards, four Grammy Hall of Fame Awards, and their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Described as "the most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960s," their impact on music history is undeniable. They are among the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and have earned a lasting place in the hearts of music enthusiasts. Rolling Stone ranked them 40th on the list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" in 2010, highlighting their enduring influence.


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